Sunday Listens: Rakta and In School (punks of the week!)

I'm ever grateful for my monthly subscription to Maximum RocknRoll to keep me informed of new, underground, punk music. It brings much joy to me when that easily identifiable, tidy, manila envelope appears in my PO box.  If you like punk, or you consider yourself a subversive, I highly recommend that you get this delivered-by-mail treat every month as well.

Two standouts were brought to my attention in last month's issue and I've been rattling my speakers with them since.

Ratka (pictured above) hails from Brazil and plays what you might call psychadelic rock, but it's more than that.  It's a little droney, and forgive me if I hear the inevitable influence of Brazilian jazz, bossa nova.  They know how to create a mood and sustain it.  You can kind of lose yourself in the textures and harmonies.  If you're into punk sub-categories, you'll hear a good deal of post-punk.  

Those they're Brazilian they chose a sanskrit word for their name.  It means red, blood, passion, power and strong energy.  See if you can pick up on those adjectives in their latest release:


You can also check out their previous releases, while supporting them via downloading, here.

In School make great NYC hard core that easily stands with the long standing scene out there.  They thrash out four brutal tunes on their latest 7" in approximately 6 and a half minutes.  Meaning, you could listen to this record four times on your way to work and then be ready to quit in storm of f-bombs and middle fingers by the time you arrived.  Sounds like a good morning, eh? 

Fast-paced, screamy, distorted hardcore is an acquired taste and to an untrained ear it can sound all the same, but In School makes some choice turns in the gnarled guitar progressions and the drums have a way of not quite lining up that works really well.  Plus, the lyrics to Cement Fucker are amazing.

Start by downloading their 7", Cement Fucker, on bandcamp (name your own price!)  Then follow it up with this live video that is of poor quality and doesn't quite capture the magic:

This post is part of the Sunday Listens series where I post about music that's exciting/interesting to me.  Sometimes from the perspective of a voice teacher and usually on Sundays.  Get your week started right with awesome tuneage.